JBL and Harman&Kardon have been around in the audio industry for quite a while now and have always offered very high-quality headphones. The J33i is currently leading JBL’s in-ear headphone line and is doing so quite nicely by offering an amazing level of comfort.
Design and Features
While the sound quality could always use some work, JBL’s J33i headphones are outstanding in their design and level of comfort. The strain relief buckles didn’t sound like a big selling point to me when I first looked at the product description for the J33i, but after using them, I could tell there was a noticeable improvement in comfort due to the buckles.
Just like with their other in-ear headphones, JBL includes a fairly large Apple three-button remote on the cord which provides a great user experience if you are using the headphones with an iOS device. JBL decided to included foam tips along with the standard silicon tips and while I do think they would work for some people, if you have smaller ears like I do, then they are not very comfortable.
Much like the J22i, the J33i headphones have a gold-plated extension ring for connecting to your phone which means you should have no issue connecting the headphones into any device no matter what type of case you have on it.
The sound quality was about average for any pair of $80 headphones but it is definitely not the main selling point. There was no overpowering bass or metallic sound which made be very happy, so overall the sound quality was fine.
JBL does market the J33i’s drivers as being great for bass and while they were not bad by any means, they did not provide much extra bass power from my experience.
JBL has a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality audio products and the J33i in-ear headphones definitely live up to that reputation.